Monday, November 22, 2010

Washington Killed in Duel!

One of the most interesting (and distracting!) things I've found as I work my way through the early years of the Bermuda Gazette is the way rumors are reported. My favorite so far is this one, from the 18 January 1794 issue:

"There is a report here [i.e. in Bermuda], but from what authority we do not learn, that Citizen Genet lately sent a challenge to General Washington, which being treated with contempt by the latter, Genet took an opportunity to meet him, and shot him on the spot. -- We should not wonder at such an event's taking place, when we consider the enthusiastic rage that at present governs all the actions of Frenchmen. When life is so little valued, what lengths will not men go to?"

I've not found a "correction" for this (or for any other of the rumors that are reported but turn out to be unfounded) ... the printer simply carries on, and both Washington and Genet are mentioned later in the course of events.

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